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A free online accredited CPD program for healthcare professionals

Management of constipation: An update

1.50 Canadian Council On Continuing Education In Pharmacy (CCCEP) CEU(s) / / / 1.50 Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec (OPQ) CEU(s)

Program available online until: January 10, 2020

This continuing education lesson is designed primarily for pharmacists and has been accredited by the Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy (CCCEP)
for 1.50 CEU(s).

CCCEP File Number: 1066-2018-2629-I-P

This continuing education activity has been accredited by l'Ordre des Pharmaciens du Quebec, which will grant 1.50 CEU(s) to pharmacists who have completed it successfully.

OPQ Activity Number: 7011

An update on management of constipation


According to the Canadian Digestive Foundation, about one-quarter of the Canadian population is affected by constipation, with considerable impact on the person’s quality of life. Pharmacists are ideally placed to help in management, especially because it tends to be easily treatable, seldom caused by sinister disease, and seldom needs extensive investigation. Characteristically, the same treatment is required for both symptom alleviation and treatment of the underlying problem, which is most commonly functional bowel disease.

Planning Committee

  • Gabor Kandel, MD, FRCP.
  • Iris Krawchenko, R.Ph., B.Sc. Phm., ACPR.
  • Betty Golightly, BSc. Pharm., R.Ph.

Learning Objectives

On completion of this program, participants should be able to:

  • Summarize non-pharmacological and pharmacological strategies for managing constipation, both acute and chronic
  • Discuss prevailing myths and misconceptions about constipation and laxatives
  • Recognize the role of the pharmacist in counseling patients about management options for constipation

Ask the expert – Gabor Kandel, MD, FRCP

  1. How is constipation defined?
  2. Is constipation caused by low dietary fibre or fluid intake?
  3. What patient assessments should pharmacists make before recommending laxatives (or other treatments) for managing constipation?
  4. What are the key non-prescription options for managing constipation?
  5. Does laxative use lead to tolerance? Are laxatives addictive? Does laxative use lead to rebound constipation occur when laxative intake is stopped?

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